The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Author, numerous books, his latest, Positive Mind, Healthy Heart, Workman 2010
Possibly the longest survivor of cardiac bypass surgery (32 years)
Featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, etc.
Hosted 3 PBS specials on personal health; Professional speaker to numerous organizations such as Boeing and the Federal Reserve Bank
Served as only non-medical member of National Institute of Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Expert Panel
Wife: Bernie; Two children, one grandson



Joe Piscatella: A Positive Mind for a Healthy Heart

The 700 Club

In 1977, Joe Piscatella was a successful businessman.  He and his wife moved into their home with their daughter and son.  Everything was going well.  While Piscatella was playing tennis, he experienced discomfort in his chest, so he went in for a routine check up.  Two days later, he had emergency open-heart bypass surgery for a 95 percent blockage of the coronary arteries.  He was 32 years old. 

The prognosis wasn’t good, and one doctor predicted that he wouldn’t live to see his children graduate from high school.  He refused to accept this and did extensive research and interviewed medical experts.  He created a plan for a healthy, balanced lifestyle that he could implement.  As a result, tests now reveal a reversal of heart disease.

More importantly, Piscatella has lived to see his children graduate from college, has walked his daughter down the aisle, made a toast at his son’s wedding and has held his first grandchild.

Over the years, Piscatella, now 65, and his wife Bernie committed their lives to a healthier way of living and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.  They got rid of unhealthy foods from their kitchen.  He took up running.  She changed the way she cooked.  His cardiac monitors – cholesterol, weight and blood pressure – were better than ever.  Doctors were impressed with the results and asked Piscatella to write down what he was doing.  To celebrate the 32nd anniversary of his bypass, the Piscatellas hiked Mount Ranier.

Piscatella says as you start your journey down the road to a healthier lifestyle, he says there are six keys that helped him along the way.

“I knew I wasn’t going through this experience by myself,” he says.  “Sometimes things happen for you to get on with your purpose in life.”

1.  Develop resiliency: don’t collapse under the weight of your troubles; look for a way to thrive.  “If I had a setback, I didn’t let that define me.” 

2.  Develop perserverance: you need to not only take action but stick to it. 

3.  Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Twelve men had the same surgery on the same day Piscatella did.  All 12 were invited to a one-hour class on nutrition.  Only Piscatella showed up.  The others sent their wives. 

4.  Set realistic goals:  goals provide direction and a sense of purpose. 

5.  Get straight information:  rely only on tested information from reliable sources. 

6.  Have faith:  believe in a higher power. 


  1. Shoot for 25-35 grams of fiber a day.  ¾ cup raisin bran (5 gr), banana (3 gr), ¼ cup almonds (1), 1 cup spinach salad (4 gr), 2 carrots (4 g), 1 cup lentil soup (7 gr), tuna sandwich (5 gr – made with whole wheat bread, celery, green peppers, onion, lettuce and tomato).
  2. Eat a tuna fish sandwich once a week.  You should eat 7.5 ounces of fish each week.
  3. Eat your beans.  ½ cup of beans has twice the fiber as ¾ cup of oatmeal.
  4. Make a truce with fast food.  McDonald’s Quarter Pounder w/cheese, fries, 16 oz. strawberry shake versus regular hamburger, small fries, 1 oz milk: 1,570 calories versus 580!
  5. Portion size.  Watch portion sizes (will use deck of cards, golf ball, hockey puck, cupcake liner, baseball and dice to demonstrate sizes)
  6. Baby aspirin.  Stops blood from clotting which causes heart failure
  7. Floss.  The same plaque on your teeth is the same plaque that spreads to the heart.
  8. Drink a cup of coffee.  It’s cardio protective even more so than green tea.
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